“With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand.” — Mark 4:33
Coaches wear many hats. Their most important job is communication with the purpose of teaching and motivating athletes, as well as assistants and support staff. Clear communication is essential to help athletes reach their potential and perform well on the field or court because they know the expectations. The best coaches speak in a simple, straightforward manner and adapt instructions to each individual. When coaches connect with their players, everybody reaches a higher level together.
When Jesus came into the world, He did not use the longest and most impressive words because He did not want to confuse people. Jesus sought to meet people where they were and bring them where they ought to be through simple stories called parables. A parable puts something familiar side by side with a spiritual lesson. In so doing, Jesus painted pictures with words in a clear, unmistakable way. “With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand” (Mark 4:33).
After we read how Jesus told a story that applied to every man and woman in the crowd, we see an accurate reflection of ourselves. Jesus brought all kinds of people to see themselves in the mirror. Though Jesus didn’t make everybody happy, He showed us where our talk and walk do not match, and gave us plenty of opportunities to repent and receive acceptance with God. Jesus knocked on the door and called people to Himself. “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me” (Revelation 3:20).
As we rub shoulders with people in our circle, do we speak clearly with compassion like Jesus did? Do we merely speak about ourselves? It’s important to listen to people first in order to tell them about the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. If we walk a mile in somebody else’s shoes, then we may learn enough to find a way to communicate the Gospel to them in a way they understand. “For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake” (2 Corinthians 4:5).
— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Georgia
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